La Union has always been known as one of the best surfing spots in the Philippines. Just a stone’s throw away from Manila, get engulfed in the beauty of La Union’s gorgeous waves and get mesmerized by the rhythm of the sea as it continuously makes love to the shore. The beach is something that you can never get tired of, and the community is nothing but warm and welcoming. It showcases the charm of simple living, and its laid-back nature is just too enchanting not to fall in love with. No wonder it has captured the hearts of many people, some of which refuse to go back to their towns, and instead build a home beside the stunning shores of La Union.
Photo by Martin San Diego
But really, is La Union just all about the beach? Sure, the waves are its major attraction, but during our immersion with NLEX Lakbay Norte 5 crew, we learned that it is not short of colorful and thrilling activities to try and experience, either. So, if you’re going to La Union, don’t just catch the waves; make sure that you catch the place’s beauty in its entirety, too.
We’ve listed down some of our favorite activities that you can do – perfect for a quick weekend getaway, or maybe as part of a long backpacking trip.
5 Fun Activities That You Can Do in La Union Aside from Catching the Waves
5. RELISH THE BEAUTY OF TANGADAN FALLS
The beautiful waters of Tangadan Falls
The beautiful Tangadan Falls is definitely worth visiting. You can enjoy a good swim in its cold and clear waters. There is also a nice area for cliff diving, but make sure that you ask for guidance if you plan to try this activity. A good 45-minute travel from San Juan, the falls have already attracted a lot of visitors, especially during the summer, so it can be a little crowded during peak seasons. Luckily for us, we went there on a Monday and were able to have the place to ourselves.
The trek to the falls is pretty quick – just a good 15-30 minute descent if you are coming from the higher area. You can rent a jeep that can bring you there from their tourism office at San Gabriel. Alternatively, there is also a longer but more scenic trek by the river, but it might take you a good hour and a half before you reach the falls that way.
PSA: Please save the falls. Make sure to be responsible when it comes to your trash and bring it with you when you pay a visit. Let’s not spoil the beauty of Tangadan by making sure it stays clean.
4. FEAST ON GOOD FOOD
Salu-salo Platter at Cube-O Grill
Northern Luzon is, hands down, one of the best places to enjoy awesome food. Although they don’t have a particular dish that screams “La Union”, the area is blessed as it has became a melting pot of sorts with different dishes trickling down from its neighboring provinces. During our visit, we did nothing but savor delicious dishes from one restaurant after the other. Our takeaway from the never ending foodtrip? La Union will make you lose weight from surfing and hiking, but you will definitely gain it back after your session because of its undeniably appetizing dishes.
Who doesn’t like freshly cooked pusit? Apparently, they have an unlimited supply of it.
Feast for the group at Natalna Restaurant, San Fernando, La Union
As soon as we stepped inside the vicinity of La Union, we were treated to the North’s delectable cuisine, starting at the humble Natalna Restaurant. A quaint and rustic little dining place tucked on the smaller streets of San Fernando, Natalna offers delicious Ilocano dishes served hot and best enjoyed on the al fresco dining area by the beach.
Barbecues from LU BBQ
During our first night, we were given the chance to taste the mouthwatering barbecues of LU BBQ in San Fernando, as well as experience La Union’s budding performing and visual arts community. As we ate our tasty insarabsab and chuletas, we were able to witness some intense and insightful spoken word performances by selected students, as well as listen to some local crooners of the town.
Apparently, they also have unlimited pakbet to even out the grease and pork.
A pun from the tagalog word kubo (“hut”), Cube-O Grill offers savory Ilocano dishes served on an interesting square tray that can fill up the tummies of six people. The food is nice and the place has a very artsy vibe to it with its cute ornaments and displays. You can visit them at San Juan, La Union.
A+ Lengua dish from Mommy Lu’s!
Want a meal that will remind you of home? Then Mommy Lu’s Restaurant would definitely be for you where the dishes are served complete with the tender loving care of its owners and chefs. Located in San Fernando, the place is like a carenderia, bringing back memories of when you were young and broke, but this one’s definitely fancier. Don’t miss out on their lengua. I swear: it is simply amazing.
Read on for more activities you can enjoy at La Union!